Stilton Cheese Gateaux with Onion Pear Relish

These delectable blue cheese “cakes” puff up like light miniature soufflés while baking and settle back into the ramekin as they cool. Serve on a bed of lightly dressed baby greens with a generous dollop of the sweet, tangy onion pear relish for a light luncheon or as an appetizer.

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 lb. cream cheese, cut into large chunks, room temperature
1/2 lb. quality English Stilton cheese, cut into small pieces, room temperature
5 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
Season to taste with white pepper
Melted butter

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a food processor, place chunks of cream cheese in bowl and process until creamy. Add Stilton cheese to cream cheese and process until cheese mixture is smooth and well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs and cream; process until smooth, scraping down sides several times. Season mixture with white pepper, to taste.

With a pastry brush, generously brush 10 (6 ounce) ramekins or custard cups with melted butter. Fill each ramekin 3/4 full with batter. Place ramekins in baking pan and fill pan with enough hot water to come up at least half way up the ramekins. Bake 45 minutes, until cheese “cakes” are firm and lightly brown.

Cool slightly. With a sharp knife, gently loosen edges and turn upside down to unmold onto serving plates. Serve with onion pear relish (recipe below).

Onion Pear Relish

3 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 1/2 cups pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
Pinch cayenne and pinch salt

Place a heavy sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil (or butter) and sliced onions. Cook onions until they begin to caramelize and turn a rich mahogany brown.

Add sliced pears, vinegar, sugar, cayenne and salt. Continue cooking, stirring gently, until pears are tender yet firm. Remove from heat and strain and reserve liquid from onion-pear mixture.

Return liquid to pan and cook until reduced liquid is reduced to a thick syrup consistency. When thickened, add onion-pear mixture to the pan and stir to combine mixture thoroughly. Place in bowl and cool. Serve relish at room temperature.

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